They had been
ostracized by the local farmers for eating their silled fruit pies and terrorizing the heifers. They had
ostracized the local wolves by having sometimes-thumbs, and regrets, and human children.
The main commandment of wolf life is Know Your Place, and that translated perfectly. Being around other humans had awakened a slavish-dog affection in us. An
abasing, belly-to-the-ground desire to please.
potentially existing but not presently evident or realized
As soon as we realized that someone higher up in the food chain was watching us, we wanted only to be pleasing in their sight. Mouth shut, I repeated, shoes on feet. But if Mirabella had this
latent instinct, the nuns couldn't figure out how to activate it.
She was still
loping around on all fours (which the nuns had taught us to see looked unnatural and ridiculous—we could barely believe it now, the shame of it, that we used to locomote like that!), her fists blue-white from the strain.
We spent a lot of time daydreaming during this period. Even Jeanette. Sometimes I'd see her looking out at the woods in a vacant way. If you interrupted her in the midst of one of these
reveries, she would lunge at you with an elder-sister ferocity, momentarily forgetting her human catechism.
an elementary book summarizing the principles of a religion
We spent a lot of time daydreaming during this period. Even Jeanette. Sometimes I'd see her looking out at the woods in a vacant way. If you interrupted her in the midst of one of these reveries, she would lunge at you with an elder-sister ferocity, momentarily forgetting her human
The choir director—aggressively perfumed Mrs. Valuchi, gold necklaces like pineapple rings around her neck—taught us more than the nuns ever did. She showed us how to pattern the old hunger into
the articulation of speech with regards to intelligibility
“I wasn’t talking to you,” I grunted from underneath her. “I didn’t want your help. Now you have ruined the Sausalito! You have ruined the ball!” I said more loudly, hoping the nuns would hear how much my
enunciation had improved.